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Narrow Log Bridge Crossings in Manu National Park

by Jason on August 14, 2012

I am so glad I had some experience crossing rivers and other bodies of water by log BEFORE I came to the Amazon Jungle and had to bushwhack 90 km finding ways to cross many bodies of water during that period.

Many times we would come across a stream, a swamp, or a stagnant deep body of water with no hand-made bridge waiting for us. So we would walk up and down the body of water until we could find a log to walk across. This happened at least 5 times during our time setting up camera traps.

A year ago, I wouldn’t have had the courage to cross on these narrow logs. Luckily, I got some experience in the last 12 months crossing logs over bodies of water that scared me. And that experience proved invaluable.

Because these crossings here in Manu National Park were much more difficult than the ones I did in Canada. Many of these crossings were 20-25 feet in length. Sometimes the logs were really narrow. Many times the water beneath us was stagnant and deep, well over our heads. The water was often filled with sticks, mud and other organic material. Not to mention there were caimans, piranhas, sting rays and electric eels present as well.

The picture below made me really nervous. This was the first log crossing of the trip, and this log was the narrowest and longest of all the crossings. The pic is below:

This video below was the scariest for me. We were attempting to cross this bog, swamp, stagnant river or whatever it was. But it just kept going and going. And we couldn’t find a log to get across. So we were just going to attempt to cross it.

As we were about to step into the water, we saw a caiman directly in front of us. So we decided against that idea. We headed further downstream and eventually we found a sizable log to get across. The only thing is that this log was about a foot underneath the water. I was nervous because we would be in the water where we had just seen a caiman 50 feet upstream. And underneath the log, the water was at least 8 feet deep with no visibility. The video is below.

This next video below was yet another bridge crossing. After crossing the two above, I was feeling much more comfortable with crossing this one in Manu National Park.

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